Shadow and Bone, the first in a three-part YA Fantasy series by Leigh Bardugo, is a really cool premise that revolves around the power of love, the danger of magic, and a terrifying mass of darkness and shadows that splits the country of Ravka in half.

Passage through this shadow fold is almost impossible, considering its permanent residents (flying monsters called the Volcra) would rather eat you than let you pass. ⁣

Enter the Sun Summoner, an orphan named Alina Starkov who might be the only one strong enough to destroy the Shadow fold and defeat the Volcra for good. Except she has no idea the power she possesses. Not even her best friend Mal, who she also happens to be in love with, has any idea that she’s anything but a mapmaker.

But once the Darkling, the leader of the magical military elite, discovers who she really is, he is determined to use her and her power to reunite the broken lands of Ravka, no matter the cost. ⁣

“I’ve been waiting for you a long time, Alina. You and I are going to change the world.”⁣

One thing to keep in mind-Leigh Bardugo created an entire “Grishaverse” universe that includes multiple spinoffs. I would suggest getting acquainted with The Six of Crows duology if you plan on watching the new Shadow and Bone Netflix series. It doesn’t just follow Shadow and Bone (which I stupidly assumed it would) but weaves in another storyline, a prequel to Six of Crows. Confusing? Yes! But..I think they did a good job with it! ⁣

However..and I know I always say this…I enjoyed the book more. It has more heart. ❤❤❤ But damn that Netflix sticker! Why???

 This brings me to the first location of importance: The Little Palace

Shadow and Bone Little Palace

“I hope you don’t expect fairness from me, Alina. It isn’t one of my specialties.”⁣

Did anyone else watch the Shadow and Bone series on Netflix and struggle to place the actor that played the Darkling? I finally had to look it up! Just so no one is left in suspense, he was Prince Caspian in Narnia. 😜⁣

For those of you who haven’t read the book yet, but watched the series (Or the other way around), there are some blinding differences between the two. I mentioned the most important in my last post, but I thought I would throw a few more out there.⁣

1. Watching the series, I didn’t feel the initial love connection between Alina and Mal. Obviously, they had a deep friendship, but in the book, it was spelled out pretty clearly how Alina felt.⁣

2. The whole burning the maps and volunteering to cross the fold drama-well that was all for the series. ⁣

3. The first real introduction to the Darkling went entirely different in the book and series.⁣

4. The “big” rescue scene between Alina and the Darkling-the series hyped up the action and quickened the scene dramatically.⁣

5. This was a big one for me…the book clearly explained what an amplifier was and how it worked; when I watched the series, nothing was obvious about the amplifier and its importance until much later on.⁣

This brings me to the Second location of importance: Morozova’s Herd

Shadow and Bone Forest

Before Mal, Keramzin had been a place of terrors, long nights spent crying in the dark, older children who ignored me, cold and empty rooms. But then Mal arrived, and all of that changed. Keramzin became our palace, our kingdom, and I wasn’t afraid anymore.’⁣

It doesn’t matter if you read the book or watch the movie, the love story between Mal and Alina carries Shadow and Bone. Without this conflict, this drama, between the two most important characters (in my opinion!), the rest of the story would just be…ok.

Sure, the shadow fold is a cool concept, and the Darkling and the Grisha are really interesting, but both Alina and Mal need each other to keep fighting. This is what drives the story forward. ⁣

Map of Shadow And Bone Series

Recommended Links

If you’re interested in learning more about Shadow and Bone and its author Leigh Bardugo or would like to purchase this Young Adult Fantasy novel, please check out the links below.



Barnes and Noble

Author Website

If you liked this post, please follow the link to my other YA Fantasy Book Reviews.